Italy is known for its wide range of cheeses, from the soft delicate Mozzarella to the flaky umami Parmigiano-Reggiano, producing almost 500 types of cheese. Each region in Italy has its own variety and method of preparation, from the north’s alpine meadows to Sicily’s sunny Mediterranean shores.
Cheeses made from cow, sheep, goat or buffalo milk, intensely fragrant or mild, cured and soft, perfect for grating or ideal for spreading, there are countless varieties of cheese that you can get lost in! Follow our guide on our most used cheeses at AQUA Forte. We’ve even added a dish you can enjoy the cheese on and a wine pairing!
One of the most popular types of Italian cheese, Mozzarella actually refers to a variety of cheese types that have been usually made from Italian buffalo milk (Mozzarella di bufala) or cow milk (fiordilatte). First made near Naples, the cheese is produced most, in the south of Italy using a traditional spinning and cutting technique known as ‘pasta filata’. Mozzarrella is a white, semi-soft cheese that has a high moisture content. The cheese is one of basic ingredients for pizza, used for certain types of pasta or enjoyed in appetisers like Caprese salad.
Try it at AQUA Forte – Parmigiana Di Melanzane (Fried eggplants rolls with mozzarella cheese, burrata and basil tomato sauce)
Wine pairing – Sasseo Primitivo del Salento
First produced in the town of Gorgonzola near Milan, the Gorgonzola is a veined, blue cheese that’s formed from unskimmed cow’s milk. The cheese is split into two varieties: Dolce, a sweet creamy form, and Piccante, a sharper variety which is also known as Naturale or Montagna. Gorgonzola can usually be found melted over risotto or pasta during the final stage of cooking, or used in several other dishes with meat, polenta or in sauces.
Try it at AQUA Forte – Gnocchi Di Patate E Ricotta Al Gorgonzola E Noci (Potato and ricotta gnocchi with Italian blue cheese sauce and walnuts).
Wine pairing – Alois Lageder Gewürtztraminer
Parmigiano-Reggiano is produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena and certain areas of Mantua and Bologna. The cheese is more popularly known outside Italy as ‘Parmesan’, especially when prepared outside of the defined, origin areas of Northern Italy. Parmigiano-Reggiano is known for its flaky texture and rich umami flavour. Another variety of the same cheese is Grana Padano, which is prepared in the same way of Parmigiano-Reggiano but in different areas in Italy. Both are usually referred as “formaggio grana”. This cheese is often grated over most Italian pasta dishes or enjoyed alone at the end of the meal.
Try it at AQUA Forte – Grana Padano is used on most of our “primi” (pasta and risotto) dishes. It is prominent component in our “Tagliatelle al ragu Bolognese” (Homemade tagliatelle with slow cooked beef ragout sauce)
Wine pairing – Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico
Made from sheep’s milk, Pecorino (the most famous being Pecorino Romano) is a hard, salty cheese which is usually grated over pasta, soup or salad. Its taste is slightly sharper compared to Parmesan. Pecorino is often largely produced on the island of Sardinia or in Lazio region.
Try it at AQUA Forte – Ravioli Alla Norma (Homemade fresh ravioli pasta stuffed with eggplants, ricotta and pecorino cheese with fresh cherry tomato sauce)
Wine pairing– Baglio del Sole Nero d’Avola
Used to create our famous tiramisu, Mascarpone is a rich-tasting cream cheese. It initially originated from an area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso, Italy, southwest of Milan and was made by draining the moisture from the cream of cow’s milk. This creamy, milky-white cheese is easy to spread and used for desserts, like tiramisu, cheesecake, etc.
Try it at AQUA Forte – Tiramisù (Layered homemade savoiardi (ladyfingers) dipped in espresso coffee, with a creamy mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa).
Wine pairing – Recioto di Soave
Ricotta is a creamy white whey cheese with a slightly sweeter taste. It’s made from the whey that’s left over after producing other cheeses, so it can be found wherever cheese is produced, and can be from any type of milk. Ricotta is highly perishable and should be consumed fresh.
Try it at AQUA Forte – La Pastiera Napoletana (Traditional Neapolitan shortcrust cake with flower and citrus infused ricotta and wheat filling)
Wine pairing – Recioto di Soave
In addition to the above dishes you can simply try our Misto Di Salumi E Formaggi for a selection of imported Italian cheese and pork cold cuts with homemade jams and honey. You can enjoy this with a glass of Dezzani Barbera d’Asti DOCG.
Dine at AQUA Forte to enjoy a gastronomic adventure and discover Italy’s most scrumptious variety of cheeses, right here in the Galle Fort, Sri Lanka.